School Library Journal recommends Dragonfly Song to “fans of Shannon Hale’s historical fantasies”

Posted on October 13th, 2017 by pajamapress

DragonflySong_Website“The Bronze Age setting makes for a unique backdrop, and Aissa is a sympathetic character. Her struggles are heartrending, and made more so by the lyrical storytelling style. The descriptions of the dances are especially vivid. VERDICT Hand-sell this unusual tale to fans of Shannon Hale’s historical fantasies.”
Mandy Laferriere, Fowler Middle School, Frisco, TX

Read the full review in the October 2017 issue of School Library Journal

CanLit for LittleCanadians praises The Theory of Hummingbirds for its characterization of “real children with strengths and challenges”

Posted on October 13th, 2017 by pajamapress

TheTheoryOfHummingbirds_Website“Alba is like the hummingbirds of the title. Most people would see them as delicate creatures, perhaps fragile and vulnerable. But Alba and Levi, hummingbird aficionados, know that the little birds are not always what they seem. They can be intense, even ferocious, not unlike Alba herself….

The Theory of Hummingbirds is Michelle Kadarusman’s first middle-grade novel (Her first book, Out of It (Lorimer, 2014), was written for young adults) and she’s made it reader friendly in more than just vocabulary and content. Her characters are both sensitive and gritty, as the need requires, and neither goody-goody nor reprehensible. In other words, they are real children with strengths and challenges. Because she underwent a series of surgical procedures to correct her own congenital talipes equinovarus, Michelle Kadarusman writes from experience. Hence Alba’s determination and drive for normalcy is written with authenticity and reads the same. If there’s a lesson to learn, it’s that seeing the hummingbirds and Alba and Levi and others only one way does a disservice to them and anyone. We are all far more than our greatest challenge or weakness or even strength. For that, on this day, we should all be ever thankful.”

Click here to read the full review

CM Magazine recommends Slug Days to “readers who wish to learn about diversity from a trustworthy source”

Posted on October 12th, 2017 by pajamapress

SlugDays_Website“Sara Leach’s writing is dependable in its craftsmanship, including appropriate word choice for this age group, and Lauren’s first-person voice is clear and direct. In addition, Rebecca Bender’s engaging black-and-white illustrations offer consistent support for reading comprehension….Because this author has taken such care with Lauren’s characterization, however, the book will find an audience in readers who wish to learn about diversity from a trustworthy source.
Bev Brenna

Click here to read the full review

Canadian Bookworm calls Slug Days “A great choice”

Posted on October 12th, 2017 by pajamapress

SlugDays_Website“This chapter book features Lauren. Lauren has Autism Spectrum Disorder, and she has several tools at her disposal both at home and at school to help her when she begins to feel frustrated or panicky….The illustrations are charming simple black and white drawing, but give a sense of the situations Lauren finds herself in. A great choice.”

Click here to read the full review

Kids’ BookBuzz says Timo’s Party was “amazing” and “didn’t want Timo’s Party to end.”

Posted on October 12th, 2017 by pajamapress

timosparty_website“We rated this book: [5/5]…

I loved Timo’s Party; it was amazing. I was so excited to review Timo’s Party because I have read the first Timo book, Timo’s Garden, and loved it. This book was just as good as the first Timo book. It is broken into short, easy-to-read chapters, with colorful illustrations. It is great for kids who are just starting chapter books. The illustrations are detailed, and I love how they show the expression on the characters’ faces. My only complaint is that I wish it was longer. I didn’t want Timo’s Party to end. I really hope Victoria Allenby will write more Timo books because I love them.”
—Jewel – Age 9

Click here to read the full review

CanLit for LittleCanadians praises Lauren’s voice as “the most compelling element of Sara Leach’s Slug Days

Posted on October 11th, 2017 by pajamapress

SlugDays_WebsiteSlug Days is told in the first-person narrative of a young girl on the Autism Spectrum Disorder….

Sara Leach makes Lauren’s voice young and blatant, focusing on what is important to the child and often ignoring what others deem priorities. Who the girl is, is undisguised. She needs her routines and obsesses about things that others might ignore….

The voice is the most compelling element of Sara Leach’s Slug Days, as it should be. Here is Lauren’s story, up close and personal. Whether readers can empathize is not on Sara Leach but on the readers themselves because the author makes it clear and it is an arresting text spoken true by a child on the spectrum. Regardless, it’s evident that Lauren’s life is full and complex and often wholly unpredictable. But, with an arsenal of strategies, she will hopeful have fewer slug days and expand her days, as well as those around her, to those of butterflies.”

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My Beautiful Birds “serves as a tribute to all those families who[se] homes have been taken from them” says Through the Looking Glass

Posted on October 10th, 2017 by pajamapress

MyBeautifulBirds_Website“…When you live in a peaceful place where there is no war or conflict, it is hard to imagine what it is like to lose everything. It is hard to imagine what it is like to be a refugee. Unfortunately, today more people have been displaced by conflict and natural disasters than ever before.

One of the places where these displacements are taking place is Syria, a country that has been ripped apart by war. In this story we meet a Syrian child whose whole life is turned upside down when his hometown is destroyed. We watch as he struggles to adjust to his new existence in a refugee camp, and as he longs for what he used to have.

Beautifully written, and illustrated using polymer clay and acrylic, this picture book serves as a tribute to all those families who have had to venture out into the unknown when their homes have been taken from them.
—Marya Jansen-Gruber

Click here to read the full review

Princess Pistachio and Maurice the Magnificent is “highly, highly recommend[ed]” by Storywraps

Posted on October 9th, 2017 by pajamapress

PPMM_Website“This is the third book in the Princess Pistachio series. It is a wonderful little chapter book with very endearing illustrations starring the Princess and her dog, Dog. Yep, you heard me right, her dog’s name is Dog….

I truly loved the illustrations, especially adorable Princess Pistachio. Gay’s watercolour, and coloured-pencil work bring the text alive and is full of humour, detail and action. The story is very well-written and has a plot that kids can identify with and enjoy tremendously. I highly, highly recommend this book.

Storywraps Rating – 5 +++ HUGS!!!!!

Click here to read the full review

Two Times a Traitor is featured on ILA Today’s, “War and Conflicts” children’s book list

Posted on October 7th, 2017 by pajamapress

TwoTimesATraitor_Website“Violent conflicts occur around the globe every day. History shows how small disagreements often erupt into larger conflicts that can morph into wars. Wars have long-lasting effects on the environment as well as civilians and the troops who fight in them. This week’s column features books that explore some of those wars and conflicts….

[Karen Bass] provides enough details to allow [readers] to draw their own conclusions about the battles between the French and the English and Laz’s own personal dilemma.

Ages 15+

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Road Signs That Say West is “a tale of love despite differences” says Canadian Bookworm

Posted on October 6th, 2017 by pajamapress

roadsignsthatsaywest_website“This teen novel has three sisters at the center….As the girls journey across the country, they encounter other young people, some they like, others they don’t. They get invited to a wedding and find themselves offering to help paint a house. They have fights, and get scared. They get hurt, and share secrets and fears.

This is a tale of sisters, with all the messiness that relationship brings. A tale of love despite differences, as they all prepare for what the future may bring them.”

Click here to read the full review